We were on Whidbey Island for the weekend, and my first move when I’m that close to clamming beaches is to check the tide tables. The good news was that low tide wasn’t 2 am, the bad news was that it would be dark, 6 pm. Hannah and Robbie were game for some night clamming, so we packed up our boots, digging implements, buckets and head lamps and hit the beach. We came out with a modest bucket full… about 20 clams or so. More of a fun experience than an efficient way to find shellfish, but I guess you make do with what you have.
From that turkey I ended up making:
1. A brined roasted turkey breast for dinner
2. A jar of confited turkey breast chunks to use in meals
3. Two confited turkey legs
4. Four servings of turkey rillettes packed in glasses and topped with fat
5. Three quarts of turkey stock
Pretty good weekends’ work. I’m tired of doing dishes, but loving all this delicious meat stored up for the next few weeks.
Jared sent me a link to these people confiting turkey earlier this fall, and it’s been in my mind. We haven’t hosted Thanksgiving for awhile, so I don’t get much turkey beyond what I shovel on my plate on Thanksgiving day, so this year I decided to buy one to cook after the holiday. I finally had a free morning (and the kids had their Saturday morning cartoons) so I got busy messing up the kitchen.
I butchered the turkey and am separated it into two groups: the legs/thighs, the wings, and one breast were rubbed with salt, thyme, parsley, sage, smoked paprika, and garlic, and put on a rack in the refrigerator to cure until tomorrow. The remainder – the rest of the carcass, the neck, and one of the breasts went into a brine. I’ll roast the brined breast for dinner tonight, and the rest will soak in the brine overnight.
I just finished designing a cookbook for Lark restaurant (which I’m very excited about – book review coming soon). I think Alicia is going to be relatively irritated as I try to cook from the book… almost everything is complicated, and most certainly a lot of dishes are dirtied. But I hatched a plan based on the Tete de cochon and Pork rillettes recipes from the book: I am going to cook the carcass and neck gently in water and pull off the meat a la the pig’s head, plus pull off the meat from the wings that will be confited (slow-cooked in fat) to make turkey rillettes (shredded meat packed in jars). The legs/thighs and one of the breasts will also be confited and those will be stored in the fridge packed in fat to pull out and use in meals for the next month or so.
At least that’s the plan. I’ll keep you updated on how it turns out.
One of the hallmarks of being in the urban farmer jetset is the prolific use of mason jars (I need to start a new blog called “Things Urban Farmers Like”. But I think that might be a little redundant, so I’ll keep it here.) I haven’t done a feature on my sure-to-get-a-comment-wherever-I-take-it travel mug but that may need to come soon.
In the meantime, Alicia discovered on Pintrest that you can use the top of a Morton’s salt container on a wide-mouth jar, just as we were using up a container of iodized goodness. Taking inventory of all the irritating containers in our pantry, I decided it was time to retire the grungy corn meal container we’ve been refilling since our days in California and go with something a little more farm-chic. Plus, pretty much the only thing I use corn meal for is making sure pizza doesn’t stick to the peel, so the new spout will work great for applying a limited amount.